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SCARY episode, no clue what happened
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SCARY episode, no clue what happened

***Sorry for the long report, I am very worried and wanted to be as thorough as possible***
A few days ago I experienced the most frightening moment of my life, I thought I was either dying or gonna start convulsing. This is how it started, I was just sitting down with my brother playing scrabble. We had been smoking marijuana that day (please don't say It was just a panic attack from the weed, I have had those before and this was completely different and much more serious). So I am sitting waiting for my turn when I start feeling nauseous, I didnt think much of it at first, but it soon started building into a prickly feeling throughout my entire body accompanied by lightheadedness and dizziness. I also became very pale and sweaty. This prickly feeling was not the pins and needles feeling from something falling asleep, it was stronger and almost painful. It grew INSANELY powerful and at this point I got really scared and told my brother I didn't feel well. My vision started blacking out kinda like when you stand up too fast. All the symptoms just grew stronger and stronger and stronger, I couldnt take it, I thought I was gonna drop and have a seizure at any moment. The blackness got so bad I could not see a thing, I would say 95% of vision was lost. My brother helped me up and took me to the kitchen to get some water. Now I was on the verge of unconsciousness. I was basically passed out but I could still hear my brother and somewhat think. I was holding on to him to keep myself up. Then the blackness flipped and turned into white, PURE white, I was still blind but instead of a black blanket over my eyes it was intense white. My brother said my head dropped and I began shaking for a few seconds. Then slowly the white began to lose intensity and dizziness and other symptoms began to slowly go down. I remember everything and was conscious the whole time except the few seconds I was shaking. The whole thing lasted about 10 minutes, but the first few and last few were not as intense as the peak 5 minutes, that is when I was completely blind. Over the next hour or so I felt better but still not perfectly normal. I went to the emergency room but the doctor did not take me seriously, and he sent me home after a blood test and heart monitor. As soon as I said I had smoked weed he basically rolled his eyes at me and said he see's this type of thing a dozen times a day. I really don't think he took the severity of symptoms into account. It is now about 5 days after and I still do not feel completely normal, I cant put my finger on it but I feel "off". I still have a dull headache that never goes away, slight constant ringing in ears, slight buzzing feeling in my nerves, and constant fear and anxiety that it is going to happen again. I feel as if it will start at any moment. It is very hard to sleep with these lasting feelings, when I am perfectly still and quite I notice them much more. They also come and go, on a scale from 1-10 the symptoms fluctuate from a 2-4.
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23 Comments
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1653691_tn?1304463479
Kev, I would be suspicious of what else may have been in that marijuana. It could have been laced with something much more dangerous and that is why you had such a severe reaction. You said the doctor took a blood test, do you know the results of it yet? It is hard to give you any advice without knowing. All I can advise right now is to drink plenty of filtered water to help flush out your system and keep your physical activities on a low key.
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Avatar_m_tn
I had been smoking the same marijuana for a few days and also my brother and my friends also smoked it with no problem. Also if it was laced with pcp or something it would have lasted more than 10 minutes. The doctor said blood tests were normal but I dont know if they tested for random drugs.
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Avatar_f_tn
Kev: I am no doctor but I take you very seriously. I have had the shaky episodes without the vision loss and felt like passing out, but never lost consciousness. My daughter has a condition of what is called eye migraines. She losses her vision completely until the migraine has passed. I believe you need to get to a doctor fast. Your blood sugar could also be involved. I personally do not think the weed had anything to do with the symptons except perhaps helping your blood sugar to drop if you had not eaten anything. I have also encountered the doctors that will not help you as they think they are better than someone who has the wrong insurance or other factors that makes them feel superior. I would take this very seriously and get to a neurologist or regular doctor for help as soon as possible. Sorry I cannot be of more help.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi. I know you dont want hear anyone say its the weed, but truth be told you can not rule that out. The plant effects your brain and your heart. The doctor rolled his eyes and said he sees this all the time. He was probably frustrated because "he sees this all the time". Drugs effect everyone differently. Now, if you stop using the weed and then it happens again, then I would suggest you see a cardiologist and have a 30 day event recorder. If you it happens after you smoked pot--well then--it speaks for itself. Also if you have a heart rythm issue already that is not always present (comes and goes), then it may not happen everytime.
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Avatar_m_tn
thank you for the support, I do not have insurance at the moment because I am only 19 and the insurance I had ended when I turned 18. So I am paying for everything myself, which made me really angry that the doctor I saw did nothing. I could have gotten more help from google than that *******. He gave no diagnosis, no suggestions of what could be wrong. As I tried to explain my symptoms he kept turning away like he had somewhere more important to be. Also I had finished eating a rather large meal (munchies) less than an hour before it happened so I don't know if it was blood sugar. Weed affects blood pressure so maybe it may have helped trigger an underlying condition, but I am well tolerated to marijuana and have smoked over a thousand times and it never did anything like this. What I have found out with my own research is that I matched many of the symptoms for T.I.A, which is basically a mini stroke. Im really scared the next time it happens I will have a full stroke.
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Avatar_m_tn
Usually people go to the emergency room for panic attacks when weed is involved, not blindness and those other symptoms. I think the doctor thought I just had an anxiety attack which is common with weed. When he said he sees this everyday, I think he meant people coming in after smoking weed and freaking out, but I think those people have different symptoms than me. I'm not saying the weed could not have had anything to do with it, but I truly believe if it did, it just triggered an underlying condition which would be present even without the weed. For the record I have stopped completely just to be safe. Like I said, I have had bad experiences with pot, and know what it feels like and how to deal with it, but this was totally different.
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Avatar_f_tn
Well in all honesty I dont know much about pot, but I am glad you stopped using it. Have you thought of seeing a cardiologist? They would be familiar also with any TIA symptoms. Just a thought. Sorry I couldnt help. I hope you get to the bottom of this. :)
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Avatar_m_tn
when I was in the ER they had me hooked up to a heart monitor thing, ECG maybe, not sure what its called, for a couple hours and said everything was normal. I am thinking it was brain related not heart related, but im no doctor so I could be wrong. I really want to go to a different doctor but I have no insurance so everything I do is going to be expensive and I am 19 years old without a job.
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Avatar_f_tn
Wow, thats rough (no insurance). I just wanted to say if its a rythm issue--they wax and wane. That is why most of the time they are only caught when wearing a monitor. Sometimes a 24 hour if they happen frequently, and a month long if they dont happen frequently, and sometimes even then it can take years to catch if its a sporadic thing. It may be brain related, I just cant dismiss heart. Also, are you on any meds or vitamins?
How about your resting heart rate--what is it?
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Avatar_m_tn
I saw another doctor yesterday and had an ECG again, it came out normal and I still haven't got a diagnosis or even suggestions of what it could be, I am going back for a blood test today or tomorrow.
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Avatar_m_tn
I would be concerned that you might have had a seizure.  There are many different types of seizures.  You could read more about the condition on epilepsy.com.  I have a son with epilepsy and have heard others in our network describe similar symptoms. I would see a neurologist, who would also be helpful if the episode was a TIA.  Your local epilepsy foundation may be able to give you some guidance as to where to go for help since you are uninsured.  
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13167_tn?1327197724
I agree with kspen.  Sounds like a seizure to me.

A couple years ago I drank a LOT of water to stave off a migraine,  and my experience was very similar to yours.  I couldn't control my body or speak but I could hear voices in the background (stuff that actually was happening) and everything went black,  and I shook for a little bit,  during which time I was unconscious.

Mine was diagnosed a water intoxication seizure and they were never able to see any brain patterns or anything else that would indicate a seizure pattern.

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13167_tn?1327197724
Also,  in googling "marijuana seizures" there are descriptions that sound exactly like what you are describing - my guess is the ER doc DOES see them a lot.
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Avatar_f_tn
Wow you guys, good call! That never crossed my mind. Marijuana seizures huh? Never heard of that before.
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Avatar_m_tn
I have spent hours on google and have seen some reports of very similar reactions but there is always something that doesnt match up exactly. It's just that if he DOES see that all the time I think seizures would be more a more well known side effect, and people would take it more seriously. When people talk about the side effects of weed, you never hear seizure or stroke, but I have found rare reports of it happening. Hopefully it was just the marijuana and not an underlying seizure condition that the marijuana just brought to the surface. But then again I still feel abnormal a week later and I havent touched weed since. Yesterday my symptoms spiked to a 5 or 6 for the first time since it happened which is why I went to the doctor again. At the very moment they are low, maybe a 2, I hope they stay low.
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Avatar_m_tn
So I just double checked a few more marijuana seizure reports and while a few symptoms are similar, I don't think it was the same thing, everyone talks about it either being really short, like 10 seconds, or them passing out and having a full seizure, which I had neither. I am going to bring that up to the doc next time I see him, I'm not ruling anything out, I just don't fully match up with what others are saying.
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Avatar_m_tn
wanted to add one more thing. If it was a seizure, the doctor should have taken it more seriously even if he does see it all the time. He literally was not concerned in the least bit.
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13167_tn?1327197724
Kev,  I'm not quite sure what you're looking for.

Nobody's seizures are exactly alike - just like nobody's migraines are exactly alike,  nobody's recovery from concussions are exactly alike,  etc.

The accounts of marijuana related seizures on the net are so similar to what you experienced,  that they appear to be the same thing.  If you go on any board for seizure disorders,  you'll find variations in the duration,  recovery and symptoms in what people experience.

Seizures are dangerous,  and can kill you.  I think you should consider this a warning,  and curtail or completely quit using marijuana.

Best wishes.
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13167_tn?1327197724
Another thought Kev - if you pursue this as a mysterious seizure of unknown origin,  it's likely you'll lose your driver's license for at least 6 months.  As it is, next time you go in to renew your license you'll have to answer the question about whether you've ever had a seizure.  It's nothing to mess around with - and even if the seizure itself doesn't kill you,  the circumstances might (drowning while swimming,  falling off a railing,  wrecking a car).  

To be suddenly physically incapacitated is dangerous.  In my case,  I sure don't drink large amounts of water all at once - you should avoid any possible triggers of a seizure in the future for your safety and the public's.  
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Avatar_m_tn
as noted in one of my earlier comments I have stopped the marijuana. Personally I did not find the accounts to appear to be the same thing, I think I would know how similar it is because it happened to me. Yes, they had some similar symptoms but from what I have read it is not exactly what happened to me. I found my symptoms more similar to a pre-stroke, or T.I.A., than to the accounts of marijuana seizure. I googled marijuana stroke and found out it happens maybe 6 out of 100,000 cases. Also luckily I don't have a drivers license and wont be getting one for a while longer. And again, Im not completely ruling the possability that it was a seizure, I just do not find the symptoms as similar as you do.
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Avatar_f_tn
the pins and needles sound like severe case of anxiety,  that escalates at an alarming rate, and takes over ya body and u cant control it, its very scarey and the only way i get rid of it is by taken myself out of a situation im not comfortable with. I have suffered with this for 12 years, its far worse than an anxiety attack.
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Avatar_m_tn
oh ya, i know exactly what your talking about. I've had my share of panic attacks. Except with this recent episode they didnt feel the same as normal, it was like a colder feeling, which is why I said prickly instead of pins and needles. I know prickly and pins and needles sound pretty much the same but I don't know how else to describe it. Pins and needles can be very very intense, but somehow the prickly feeling was much worse. Instead of feeling like I was being poked by pins, it felt like the pins were coming out from inside and shooting out of my body instead of going in. Also I felt strange temperature sensations at the same time, like my skin was boiling but it didnt feel hot, or cold, I just can't describe it.
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Avatar_f_tn
hi kev
thats exactly what i get, its very hard to describe it. I  suffer with panic attacks but when this other experience happened it was like my attack had gone up another level and it now can be the littleiest thing that sets it off, thats why i try and not get myself into situation im not comfortable with. the rush of it normally comes on in my upper arms, then my face and then my body and thats when the panic starts. its also like a hotness, its so hard to describe and trying to tell ya doctor is even harder, if they dont experience it how can they possibly know what they are talking about
i have now put it down as a adrenaline rush thats very very high and not some small experience you might feel on a first date for example.
It could be a hormone thats let out of our body, i honestly dont know but i definately think you are experiencing the same symptoms i get.

from gill
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